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Coast guard ship Edward Cornwallis renamed to honour historic peace treaties

The CCGS Edward Cornwallis.
The CCGS Edward Cornwallis. - File

A Canadian Coast Guard ship will have a new name when it comes out of refit at Shelburne Shipyard later this year.

The ice breaker went in for the work last year as Edward Cornwallis, but will relaunch later this year as CCGS Kopit Hopson 1752.

The name honours the original signatories of the Peace and Friendship Treaties, Mi’kmaw Chief Kopit and Nova Scotia Governor Hopson, and the date it was signed.

“This name was put forward by Chiefs Paul and Peters, on behalf of the Assembly of Nova Scotia Chiefs, in honour of the original signatories of the Peace and Friendship Treaties, Mi’kmaw Chief Kopit and Nova Scotia Governor Hopson,” federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan said in an emailed statement. “These Treaties set out long-standing commitments between the Crown and the Mi’kmaw, Maliseet and Peskotomuhkati people. They envisioned a partnership built on mutual respect and service to one another.”

She said the core values of the Canadian Coast Guard are honour, respect, and devotion to duty, and the vessel “now has a name that reflects those principles. Reconciliation is a journey, and we will continue to work together to honour the promises made in the Treaties."

The ship has been part of the coast guard fleet since 1986, and is based in Dartmouth.

Last June the department announced the ship would no longer bear the name of Cornwallis, the British military officer who founded Halifax and offered a bounty for the murder of Mi’kmaw men, women, and children.

In recent years campaigns have seen his name removed from a public school and his statue taken out of a downtown Halifax park.

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